Tuesday, May 4, 2010

30 Day Movie Meme: Day 1

I found this meme floating around and it looked like an interesting challenge to only make one choice for each topic.

Day 2- A film that is underrated
Day 3- A film that brings you unadulterated happiness
Day 4- A film cliche that you love
Day5-  Favourite love story in a film
Day 6- Favourite actor/actress
Day 7- The most surprising plot twist/ending
Day 8- The best opening/closing credits
Day 9- The best soundtrack/score to a film
Day 10- Favourite classic film
Day 11- Favourite black and white film
Day 12- A film that permanently altered your point-of-view
Day 13- A guilty pleasure...
Day 14- A film that you used to love but now hate
Day 15- Favourite film sequel
Day 16- Favourite film character
Day 17- Favourite film quote
Day 18- The best overall cast in a film
Day 19- The most hilarious film you've seen
Day 20- A moving (emotional) scene
Day 21- Favourite film from your favourite actor/actress
Day 22- Favourite Academy Award acceptance speech
Day 23- A character you can relate to the most
Day 24- The best page-to-screen adaptation
Day 25- Favourite film villain
Day 26- Favourite film poster
Day 27- A film you wish you had seen in theatres
Day 28- Favourite film from your favourite director
Day 29- A piece of trivia from your favourite film
Day 30- Your favourite film of all time

BICYCLE THIEVES/Ladri di biciclette (Italy, 1948)
Written and Directed By: Vittorio De Sica
Starring: Lamberto Maggiorani and Enzo Staiola

Antonio Ricci is an unemployed father struggling to provide for his family in post-Second World War Italy. He must support his wife and two young children in a tough economy. Antonio has access to a steady job putting up posters around Rome, so long as he has daily access to a bicycle.

His ragged bicycle is inevitably stolen right from under his nose and Antonio spends the rest of the film with his young son, Bruno, searching the streets for the thief who has stolen the only means with which he has to make money for his poverty-stricken family.

Director De Sica wanted to give the film an authentically raw and gritty quality. Bicycle Thieves is now considered one of the most famous Italian neo-realist films of all time. The entire film was shot on location in Rome and De Sica didn't use any professional actors in the roles. Lamberto Maggiorani, who played Antonio, was a factory worker in the city when he was hired for the lead role.

It's a gorgeous little piece of cinema. Its story is so simple, yet the relationships between the characters, especially Antonio and Bruno as father and son, are so genuine that you immediately care about their struggles. Considering none of the cast were professional actors, the performances are all the more remarkable for it. It's stark black and white images only add to the raw realism of the film. You feel as though you are walking the streets of Rome with this man and his young child, watching their relationship deepen as they essentially search for a needle in a haystack. It also has one of the most emotional final scenes in film history.